Confirmation that 250 is generally accepted to be one page for the purpose of billing
Thread poster: lyndabeth
lyndabeth
Local time: 05:13
Hebrew to English
Oct 24

I entered into an agreement with a client for translation of some documents. I referred to a price per page (I did not state 250 words as the client is an agency and I was certain they would know the guidelines involved). They are now claiming that they sent me 13 pages - in fact it was 5,000 words - and I wish to charge them accordingly (i.e. for 20 pages). They want to pay me for only 13 pages.
Where can I find some official recognition and confirmation that it is a generally and internationally accepted practice in the field of translation that one page is 250 words.
Any official rule or regulation would be much appreciated.
thank you in advance,
Lyndabeth


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Elif Baykara  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 06:13
Member (2015)
German to Turkish
+ ...
Negotiation only Oct 25

I am sorry that you have had this issue.

It is important to specify/define the units with the clients as they might have other standards or rules.

Recently, there was a similar discussion in a Turkish translators FB group. One of our colleagues kindly shared an old regulation (Turkish Law/Act of Fees) where one page was explicitly defined as 20 lines and 50 characters make one line. However, this is valid for Turkish language only. Maybe you can search your country's legislation (look at the "Other" sections).

Still, this wouldn't be of much meaning and if your client is in another country, it may have no meaning at all.

Elif


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 03:13
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
250? Oct 25

How many words there are on a page depends on the font type, font size, spacing, margins and paragraph length. As far as I know there is no official definition of how many words are in a page and it can vary from 250 to 450 words... I never charge per page, but per source word except when dealing with an EU Institution because their definition of a page is 1 500 characters without spaces. My new clients always receive a quote to be approved which includes number of words, rate per word, deadline, total price and payment terms.

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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:13
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
I suggest Oct 25

Teresa Borges wrote:
an EU Institution because their definition of a page is 1 500 characters without spaces..


You to use the definition above, count characters, it makes more sense.

Best


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Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:13
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Nowhere, because it isn't Oct 25

lyndabeth wrote:

Where can I find some official recognition and confirmation that it is a generally and internationally accepted practice in the field of translation that one page is 250 words.


I'm afraid nowhere, because it isn't.


[Edited at 2017-10-25 11:33 GMT]


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Andrzej Mierzejewski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 04:13
Polish to English
+ ...
1500 characters without spaces Oct 25

From an earlier (2011) discussion on the same topic:
"For some EU projects, they also base the price on a rate per source page (defined as 1500 characters without spaces)." https://www.proz.com/forum/prozcom_translator_coop/58318-translation_rate_conversion_tool.html

The best support would be a link to an EU translation tender site with a clear confirmation of the above. I couldn't find one. You might ask translation agencies working for the EU in your country.

Nevertheless, remember to always specify the rate basis in your offer and in your Purchase Order confirmation.


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:13
French to English
You are in an awkward situation Oct 25

Unfortunately, you are in an awkward situation. A "page" is sufficiently vague to be open to interpretation. If you freely agreed a rate/page without specifying what that actually meant, then you can only expect to be paid on the basis of the number of pages received for translation, irrespective of the number of words on a page. That could also go against the agent too: if there is one word on a page of the source document, it will be the same price for a page of 1,000 words. It is unusual to agree a rate per page. The most common units for negotiation are price per word or per character.

If the source document you received from the agent comprised 13 pages, you can only expect to receive 13 x unit price per page agreed.

I think this is one of those dreadful mistakes that can happen and from which we generally learn. I know that in France, the courts used to have a fixed rate per page. I don't know if that has changed. When you consider that some legal documents in two or three colums in tiny font sizes could actually have more than 2,000 words and other documents, such as letters, simply have only a couple of hundred words, the pricing system was ridiculous.




[Edited at 2017-10-25 12:37 GMT]


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Sandra& Kenneth  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 05:13
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
Yes Oct 25

250 words is the standard translation page in Israel. You may check with the ITA - there may be some official basis for this. However, this has to be clarified with the customer.
In no case are the "pages" printed pages.

I still count words in "pages" of 250 words. It's very convenient.

You may get more results by posting this in the Hebrew forum. The ITA forum is for members only.

HTH,
Sandra

[Edited at 2017-10-25 13:27 GMT]


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:13
French to English
No doubt helpful! Oct 25

Sandra& Kenneth wrote:

250 words is the standard translation page in Israel. You may check with the ITA - there may be some official basis for this. However, this has to be clarified with the customer.
In no case are the "pages" printed pages.

I still count words in "pages" of 250 words. It's very convenient.

HTH,
Sandra


This is no doubt helpful for Lyndabeth. The solution will probably depend on where Lyndabeth's client is located. If in the UK, this may be difficult to resolve and in any event, the inderstanding needs to be indicated somewhere in the agreement, I would imagine.

[Edited at 2017-10-25 13:18 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:13
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
325 words is what I get Oct 25

lyndabeth wrote:
I referred to a price per page (I did not state 250 words as the client is an agency and I was certain they would know the guidelines involved).


...and what are the "guidelines involved"? (-:

I have always thought that the idea of "per page" came from the days of typewriters. In standard typewriter terms, there are about 25 lines on a page (i.e. with double line spacing), and in English you get about 11-13 words per line... which is 275-325 words.

Of course, I don't know exactly what happens on a Hebrew computer. So please, do this little test and let us know the results: open MS Word, do not change the font size at all, and type "one two three four five six seven eight nine ten" etc. until it fills the entire line, in Hebrew, and then copy/paste it repeatedly until it fills the entire page. Then do a word count, and tell us how many words you get. I get 833 words for Hebrew and 844 for English. Why, then, would you have thought that there are only 250 words on a page? The only way to get 250 words of Hebrew on an A4 page is to increase the font size to 21, or to use double line spacing and increase the font size to 13. And no-one writes like that.

They are now claiming that they sent me 13 pages - in fact it was 5,000 words...


So they work on the basis of about 2000 characters (or 385 words) per page. Interesting. I wonder what standard they're using.




[Edited at 2017-10-25 15:41 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:13
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
A standard page Oct 25

A standard page usually contains 30 lines with 60 characters on each line, including spaces. The number of words per page also depends on the language.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 03:13
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Link Oct 26

Andrzej Mierzejewski wrote:

The best support would be a link to an EU translation tender site with a clear confirmation of the above. I couldn't find one.


http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/archive/tender/pdf/200955/specification.pdf


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